Heel-Toe/Slide Pedal Technique

BigDinSD

Gold Member
I just happenned to be bouncing my heel off the heel of the pedal (DW9000) and kinda rolled my foot. Then amazingly, I discovered the heel-toe. After months of using it I eventually discovered its name. So heel-toe was just a natural for me.

I then worked a little on the slide. Unfortunately, when you have an established technique it is sometimes hard to jump over to a completely different one, such as the slide (IMO).

I don't know why the slide intrigues me? I suppose it is the speed that other Youtube drummers demonstrate. So to me, it depends on your natural abilities and how quick you can pick any technique up. I guess if I spent enough time on it, I could rip mean BD strokes with the slide technique.

I just picked up some TRICK Dominator double pedals to quench my desire for speed with the doubles, tripes, quads...so the slide technique is now less of a priority. But I wouldn't mind it in my arsenal some day...
 

Arky

Platinum Member
Well there's a dedicated thread on heel-toe on this forum, there's so much more info there:
THE HEEL TOE THREAD
http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6143&highlight=the+heel+toe+thread&page=11

As to easier to learn... We all differ here. But I recommend heel-toe. I think heel-toe is better to play constant 8th notes also (not only for fast bursts - but getting 8th notes even takes some practice - as does everything). I can imagine doing the same with slide, but with heel-toe your foot position will stay the same throughout - which I like. I know there's some players who combine slide and heel-toe (playing one technique per foot) when playing fast - it becomes a habit for them - but I see some sense in keeping techniques 'pure' (either - or, or switching from one technique to the other, but on purpose, not out of habit).

Anyway try/learn any foot technique you'll find. I just experimented with the slide, it didn't work too well and having good control with heel-toe I put my slide technique practice to a rest, might continue working on this in the future. I said heel-toe works great for me but it really started working out after several months of good practice. So no matter which technique(s) you're going for, be prepared to invest some time/patience. It will pay off though!

To me heel-toe is by far the most economic foot technique (and also the fastest), and it holds some variations in itself. Get a good tutorial on foot techniques (e.g. Tim Waterson's DVD) to learn what can be done, and at what blistering speed).

Variations are:
- Usually you're playing ball of your foot-toe (or even toe-toe if your heel is held up)
- Actually playing heel-toe
- Heel (R) - Toe (R) - Heel (L) - Toe (L) (double pedal setup)
- Heel (R) - Heel (L) - Toe (R) - Toe (L) (double pedal setup)
- 3 instead of 2 strokes per foot (heel-toe-toe)
- incorporating swivel and glide motions (covered by Tim Waterson's DVD)
- random/multiple note groupings (e.g. JoJo Mayer, John Blackwell style) -> I've just started experimenting with this, it's great fun and lets you play decent bass drum sequences even when using a single pedal (and I've been using a double pedal from the start)

Heel-toe bears some technical similarities to the constant release technique. I'm doing both but got into constant release by practicing heel-toe first and then got into constant release gradually. Get acquainted with what is exactly going on with those techniques, those will be great tools in your technique arsenal.
 
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Sjogras

Silver Member
I've recently started incorporating both into my playing, I had initially only been using the heel toe method. The reason is that they sound different when I play, the slide technique usually produces more of a ghost note for the first hit, with the second being accented while a heel-toe produces two hits of equal strength. So it's only a matter of what fits he musical context.

When playing a triplet for instance, I use heel-toe, so the hits are LRR.
 

oceter

Member
The same thing for me sjorgas ! I dont play double bass or metal music but the uneven dynamics for slide type of thing gets me mad. The only thing is that heel toe is harder to coordinate in grooves for me, so its like the slide is easier but worse sounding and heel toe is better sounding but requires more work for me.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Before this thread blows up there's a TON of info on this if you search.
What are you using it for? A quick double here and there? patterns? Constant 16th notes? Do you have a single or double pedal?

I use both often but I use heel toe for long runs of 16th notes most of the time, or if i want to play patterns involving 3 or more hits. (double pedal)

If I am using one pedal, playing a groove, or most other times I use a slide double. an example would be for a punk beat, or doing RLFFRLFFRLFF. A few of the other posts the guys prefer heel toe which is different than what I would do but there is no wrong way to play drums. Do what feels best to you.

I would personally say the slide double you should learn first, but it depends on what you want to do. If its a long run of 16th's sliding like that would be really tough.

With time, the slide technique will even the hits out and sound very solid.. Heel toe you rely more on your pedal settings and it can get tough to play another pedal or drum. (For me anyways)

Here's a video I made on slide (well punk beat) a while back. sorry about the audio.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jfa_MQgBy0

and a recent one on heel toe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtX0k97H46A

I do trigger in the heel toe video.

I'd try both and figure out what you like more, but until you can play 200bpm double bass, or quick RLff around the kit WITHOUT doing heel toe, I wouldn't learn it. I see too many guys want to learn how to play 240bpm double kick when they doh't have the basics down. wait until you NEED to learn it and work on using your kick pedal normally.

Even for me the slide naturally developed by trying to play faster. The only way to achieve that is with lots of practice.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
I'd try both and figure out what you like more, but until you can play 200bpm double bass, or quick RLff around the kit WITHOUT doing heel toe, I wouldn't learn it. I see too many guys want to learn how to play 240bpm double kick when they doh't have the basics down. wait until you NEED to learn it and work on using your kick pedal normally.
Well said.

I originally tried to learn heel-toe as an alternative to playing fast singles. Terrible mistake in my opinion. I'm so glad I abandoned that and put the time and effort into developing fast, controlled singles. Now I only use double stokes (heel toe) to play patterns which would be awkward using singles.

OP never said what the application would be; sustained double bass or bursts (doubles, triples, etc). For long rolls or sustained speed I would advise heel-toe rather than slide. HT just seems far more efficient. For short bursts either one works well.
 
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beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Well said.

I originally tried to lean heel-toe as an alternative to playing fast singles. Terrible mistake in my opinion. I'm so glad I abandoned that and put the time and effort into developing fast, controlled singles. Now I only use double stokes (heel toe) to play patterns which would be awkward using singles.

OP never said what the application would be; sustained double bass or bursts (doubles, triples, etc). For long rolls or sustained speed I would advise heel-toe rather than slide. HT just seems far more efficient. For short bursts either one works well.
exactly.

to be honest I got lazy and started doing heel toe closer to 200bpm now... my singles suck these days. hahaha.... I have been working on getting them back... Going to take me a while. I used to do clean singles to 220/230

knowing the application would be best..

punk music slide is a must.. it woudl be VERY hard to do that with heel toe.. but slide doubles I can do all day like that
 
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